Now, don’t get me wrong. Relationship Anarchy are not the only way to do it right, and in fact, many practitioners probably screw things up at least as much as the national average.
I’ve written before that polyamory is not for everyone. And I mean it. Some people are inclined to be monogamous, and that’s cool. Some are not. That is also cool.
It’s about finding what works best for you and your partner(s).
So, back to some of these relationship anarchy core ideas.
Unlike many might believe from just hearing the term bandied about here and there in polyamory and other circles, it’s not an “anything goes” philosophy where what you do is all about you and blind to the effect on others.
Not at all. There are commitments and love and drama and fun and… well, let be a bit more clear, and just dive into it.
Put Yourself First
One of the core tenets of relationship anarchy is to put yourself first. Not in a narcissistic way, but in a way that honors the needs YOU have and allows you to help others meet their needs as well.
Romance Is Not Greater Than Friendship (or vice-versa)
Yesterday, I answered a call for sources for an article about why people might want to keep developing their friendships once they have a significant other. Like that’s a question that needs to be answered.
But even is that’s a no-brainer for you as it has been for me, you might still (like I have in the past) be putting your romantic relationship first pretty much always.
Relationship anarchists allow relationships to grow based on connection, not just on the concepts of sex and romantic love. Friend may often (and continually) take precedence over some romantic or sexual lovers, and that’s OK.
It also means that doing the things with friends we might normally do for/with lovers, like having a “date” night for connection, complimenting them, and being physically (not necessarily sexually) affectionate is OK, and lifts us up with companionship.
Relationship Anarchy Examines WHY
Why this relationship? Why this step?
The default relationship pattern we see in most of our culture has been given a moniker: The Relationship Escalator, because an escalator only goes one way:
And so on…
Relationship anarchy chooses each step, and also makes the point that it is also perfectly acceptable to step back to a previous relationship style, or sideways into another, not just go blindly forward.
What about THIS person calls me to THIS relationship style?
Set Personal Boundaries (and keep them)
Relationship anarchy is more focused on personal boundaries in relationships, rather than rules.
Healthy personal boundaries are a positive focus.
“I choose this path for me,” rather than, “You’re not allowed to do that.”
It’s finding the sweet spot (see above), and realizing that two people will never FULLY overlap, but that OK. Awesome, even. You have things you enjoy together, and things that you enjoy apart.
Recognizing that allows people to grow and thrive as individuals, even within couplehood or polyhood.
Again, I’ll point out that I’m not advocating one relationship style over another.
I’m saying that some of the precepts of RA can be valuable to any relationship style, and can help you grow as a single, a couple, or a group.